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Windows 7: A tale of two laptops and usable memory

5 Days Ago   #1
Yaworski

Win 7 Ultimate x 64
 
 
A tale of two laptops and usable memory

I needed a laptop for some automotive diagnostic software so I grabbed my daughter's old Gateway (made by Acer). I put a new harddrive and installed Win 7. System is an Intel quad core, 2.25 GHz, and 4 MB of ram.

Thing ran sloooooowly. I look at the system properties, it showed 4 GB of RAM and said that 2.3 were usable. Hmmmmm.... maybe more RAM. So I got an extra 4 GB stick, same brand and model. I popped it into the computer and it reported 8 GB of RAM but only 2.3 were usable. Hmmmm. . ..

So I grabbed another laptop, an old Acer (virtually identical to the Gateway) which is connected to my TV and has 4 GB of RAM and popped the 8 Gigs into it and it too reported 8 GB of RAM but only 2.3 usable. Hmmmmm. . . .

Back to the Gateway, put the 8 gigs back into it and booted and I was greeted with a blue screen of death and then Windows tried to recover but failed. I grabbed my distribution disk and reinstalled Win 7 and lo and behold, it now reports 8 GB with 7.4 GB usable.

WTF is going on here?

How can I get the the Acer connected to the TV to show more usable RAM?

Thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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5 Days Ago   #2
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x3, Ubuntu
 
 

A 32 Bit Operating System and shared memory will give you the symptoms you are seeing - the amount of Ram that a 32 bit system can access is limited by it's design to around 4GB but as the system itself uses some of the RAM for temporary storage and Mirroring of system variables so the Maximum you can expect is about 3.1- 3.5 GB. In addition a lot of laptops use "shared" memory for the for the graphics which also detracts from the memory available for RAM which in your case give the low figure.

If your laptop can use a 64 Bit OS then most of these issues disappear as the space addressable is far greater

Check the specs of the system to see if it will allow use of 64 Bit. If so you will need to borrow a 64 BIT installer and reinstall the OS, the Licence you have will be acceptable for the 64Bit system
My System SpecsSystem Spec
5 Days Ago   #3
Yaworski

Win 7 Ultimate x 64
 
 

Should have mentioned it before,

The Gateway has Win 7 Ultimate 64 Bit. The Acer has Win 7 Home Premium 64 Bit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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4 Days Ago   #4
torchwood

W7 home premium 32bit/W7HP 64bit/w10 tp insider ring
 
 

Hi

Definately sounds as thou both lappy's had 32 bit installs, hence both report 4GB max, but more importantly when you installed the 64 bit OS it upgraded and was able to use all of the ram.
Time to do the same for the other.

note product key/licence is valid for either version.


Roy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
4 Days Ago   #5
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

I've seen this issue before on the Forum.
Windows was reporting much less memory than it actually had.

From the OP first post:
- New Win 64bits reports 8 GB with 7.4 GB usable. So 0.6G is used by GPU and other hardware
- On a Win 32bits with 4GB it should report 4-0.6=3.4 or 3.2GB usable (32 bits barrier).
There is no explanation to only 2.3GB were usable.

On computers that has 4G or less memory I always install 32 bits, specially on laptops that share memory with the GPU (graphics).
4G - 800M (GPU and other hardware) - 1.5G (win7 32 SP1) =1.7G for programs.
4G - 800M (GPU and other hardware) - 2.5G (win7 64 SP1) =0.7G for programs.
As shown, with 4G or less memory, Win 7 32Bits has more available memory for programs than 64bits.

Win 64bits is only mandatory with more than 4G of memory.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
1 Day Ago   #6
Yaworski

Win 7 Ultimate x 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by torchwood View Post
Hi

Definately sounds as thou both lappy's had 32 bit installs, hence both report 4GB max, but more importantly when you installed the 64 bit OS it upgraded and was able to use all of the ram.
Time to do the same for the other.
Nope. I checked. The only distribution disk that I have is for 64 bit Windows 7 Ultimate. The one that is still being a problem came with Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit installed and the information page says "64 bit operating system."
My System SpecsSystem Spec
1 Day Ago   #7
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

Download HWinfo
It's a portable. extract and run.
See your memory sticks specs.


Attached Thumbnails
A tale of two laptops and usable memory-hwinfo.jpg  
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10 Hours Ago   #8
Yaworski

Win 7 Ultimate x 64
 
 

Call me dense but I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be looking for with HWInfo.

I did take out one memory stick and rebooted. System properties showed 2 GB with 1.85 GB usable. I plugged the second one in again and I get 4 GB reported with 2.61 GB usable.

If it was my computer, I'd simply wipe out the harddrive and reinstall windows from scratch. As it my's daughter's computer and she has emotional attachments to game programs installed on the machine even though she hasn't played them in years, that option is out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 A tale of two laptops and usable memory




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